- Leeth named UAB School of Medicine assistant dean for strategic planning
- Coping with holiday grief
- New water plan saves big money
- Campus police offer holiday safety tips
- Alys Stephen Center Screens Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago
- Hospital feeds underprivileged new moms
- UAB’s Alys Stephens Center presents Yo-Yo Ma Dec. 6
- Southern Miss tops Blazers, 62-27, in season ending game
- Henry Panion selected for 2014 Alabama African-American History Calendar
- Enjoy Christmas at the Alys Dec. 2, “The Season’s First Jingle”
- Engineering’s Ning wins ASTM International award
- Collat School of Business unveils sign at celebration
- Heudebert elected master by American College of Physicians
- Anti-aging strategies can improve more than looks
- On campus ‘blackout’ taken in stride
Miley — Those poor teddy bears never saw it coming
Hannah Montana has been buried. Her iconic blonde wig and pink jacket have been traded for a Mohawk and nude bikini. Miley Cyrus’ in-your-face performance at the MTV Video Music Awards screamed, “Goodbye Disney, hello sex-charged vixen.” Cyrus’s tongue-out, hips gyrating, foam-fingered performance shocked viewers, sparking immediate controversy. Critics have dubbed it racist, too provocative, and/or generally offensive to teddy bears everywhere. Jody Rosen, from the Vulture, called the act “a minstrel show routine” and said it “tipped over into what we may as well just call racism.”
Outraged parents are slamming MTV for lack of censorship and Cyrus for being a bad role model to her young fan basis. The Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a formal complaint against MTV for airing Cyrus’ routine, arguing that the show should not have been rated suitable for 14-year-olds. Director Dan Islett said, “MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate ‘twerking’ in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?”
More concerning is the reaction her performance will have on her adolescent fan base. Many of Cyrus’s fans are young teenagers who began following her religiously during her era as a Disney Star. Millions of parents and children admired the wholesome Miley Stewart who struggled with everyday problems while living her double life as a pop star. While Cyrus is clearly no longer a fresh-faced, starry-eyed pre-teen, her fans remain young and impressionable. Who knows what message they will receive from the transformation of their former role model?
On the other side of the spectra, a number of people have voiced concerns about the “shaming” Cyrus has received for her overtly sexual performance. Vanessa Blanchard of The Las Vegas Guardian Express agrees that Cyrus’s performance was problematic, but argues that the “body-snarking” and “slut-shaming” that have become rampant in the aftermath are equally so. Since her performance, Cyrus has been called every derogatory name in the book. Her partner-in-twerk, Robin Thicke, has received very little backlash. Thicke’s own wife reported that she was not surprised by the highly sexual performance and that it had been both planned and rehearsed extensively by both performers. Cyrus’s infamous nude bikini was meant to imitate the scantily clad women in Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video. The apparent double standard hardly seems just. Others have pointed out that Cyrus’s costume and dance moves vary little from those seen by Lady Gaga, Madonna, and others. The only difference being that Cyrus was once a Disney star and is associated with a different public image.
Regardless of where one stands on the great Miley debacle, I think we can all agree that those poor teddy bears never saw it coming.
By Shejuti Paul